U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Georgia’s Statewide Public Service Commission Elections

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a lawsuit challenging the way Georgia elects members of the state Public Service Commission.

The court’s decision not to take up the case, issued on Monday, means members of the PSC will continue to be elected statewide under a new schedule adopted by the General Assembly this year.

While the five members of the commission serve as representatives of districts, each member is elected statewide.

A federal lawsuit filed by four Black Fulton County residents argued that electing members of the PSC statewide diluted Black voting strength in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act, making it more difficult for Black voters to elect a candidate of their choice.

While a lower federal court agreed and ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that decision. Monday’s ruling by the Supreme Court not to hear the case upheld the appellate court, meaning statewide PSC elections that had been delayed while the lawsuit was pending now may go forward.

Under the schedule the legislature approved in March, the election for the PSC’s District 2 seat now held by Commissioner Tim Echols will take place in May of next year in conjunction with municipal election primaries. The elections for districts 3 and 5 – seats now held by commissioners Fitz Johnson and Tricia Pridemore – will be held in 2026.

Elections for PSC districts 1 and 4 – now served by commissioners Jason Shaw and Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, will take place in 2028.

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